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Essay preparation seminar Troubles of Youth. What are we going to cover? Essay questions What does a good essay look like? – Style/presentation – Referencing.

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Presentation on theme: "Essay preparation seminar Troubles of Youth. What are we going to cover? Essay questions What does a good essay look like? – Style/presentation – Referencing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Essay preparation seminar Troubles of Youth

2 What are we going to cover? Essay questions What does a good essay look like? – Style/presentation – Referencing – Structure – Content Exercises Summing up

3 Essay questions: 1 st essay 1.To what extent are young people’s lives affected by ‘risk aversion’, and what are the effects of this? 2.How useful is the concept of ‘gangs’ to explaining young people’s deviance? 3.What significance should be placed on economic and political shifts since 1980 in understanding the experiences of young people? 4.How can an understanding of the age-crime curve inform appropriate ways of responding to young offenders? 5.What are the important differences in the experience of young women and young men? 6.Critically assess the links drawn between parenting and youth deviance. 7.Why do youth justice professionals argue for a reduction in the use of incarceration for young people, and why has this been unsuccessful?

4 Marking guide Based partly on Roberts, A., Burford, C. And Mew, S. (undated) Essay Marking Guide 1st70% +Everything for a 2.1 plus originality 65% - 69% Everything for a 2.2 plus an argument that is sophisticated and interesting with tight referencing to material that exceeds the required reading % - 64% Everything for a 2.2 and a clear argument throughout the essay supported by tight referencing to the required sources. 55% - 59% Good understanding of subject & question. More descriptive than critical. A well organised essay (clear structure, good introduction, maintains focus throughout) % - 54% Good understanding of question & reasonable understanding of subject. Includes required sources. Some weaknesses in focus or structure. 45% - 49% Reasonable understanding of the question and subject. Very limited references. Weak structure and/or poor English 3rd 40% - 44% Only limited understanding of the question and the subject. Very limited references. Weak structure and/or poor English Condoned fail 35% - 39% Very limited understanding of the subject. Virtually no attempt to address the question. Very limited/non-existent references. Weak structure and/or poor English Fail

5 Style/presentation What we are looking for Clear use of English Good presentation – Conventional font in a reasonable size – Page numbers – Double spacing Common problems Poor use of English made it hard to follow arguments – Poor sentence construction – Spelling mistakes/typo's Not including page numbers

6 Sentence length Average sentence length of words. “ This does not mean making every sentence the same length. Be punchy. Vary your writing by mixing short sentences (like the last one) with longer ones (like this one), following the basic principle of sticking to one main idea in a sentence, plus perhaps one other related point. ” Plain English Campaign (2001) How To Write Reports in Plain English

7 Structure What we look for Clear introduction demonstrating understanding of subject and question Sections defined clearly Maintaining focus Common problems Limited introduction or no introduction Disjointed – lack of flow Lack of sign-posting

8 What is ‘sign-posting’? Your essay probably has between 3 and 6 main sections. At the start of each section, ‘sign-post’ for the reader eg – “I will now examine the strengths of police crime statistics...” – “Having described the strengths of the jury system, this essay will now analyse the weaknesses...”

9 Sources and references What we are looking for Reference to a range of sources (eg text books, articles, newspapers) Use of predominantly academic sources Where non-academic sources are used their limitations are recognised and they are used appropriately Common problems Over reliance on one source Not using Harvard referencing Not including all references in the Bibliography Uncritical use of sources, particularly non-academic ones

10 Harvard referencing There is a clear distinction to be made between multi-agency working and inter-agency partnerships. The latter are distinguished by the way partnerships change the way individual agencies work and the degree of interdependence between partners (Crawford 1998: 175). Bibliography Crawford, A. (1998) Crime Prevention and Community Safety, Longman

11 Critical analysis What is it? Establishing whether we believe what we see or hear Actually trying to find out whether something is likely to be true Arguing and presenting our own case and convincing others to accept our point of view Indications Identifiable and dependent steps in an argument Statements are supported by evidence (theories or research findings) Strengths and weaknesses of theories and research are discussed

12 Exercise: Critical thinking “Far greater use is being made of prison and probation. In 1996, 85,000 [adult] offenders were given a custodial sentence and 133,000 were given a community sentence. By 2001, both had increased by 25 per cent...” (Carter 2003: 9) Why might this be the case?

13 Exercise: elevator pitch “An elevator pitch (or elevator speech) is an overview of an idea for a product, service, or project. The name reflects the fact that an elevator pitch can be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride (say, thirty seconds or words). The term is typically used in the context of an entrepreneur pitching an idea to a venture capitalist to receive funding. Venture capitalists often judge the quality of an idea and team on the basis of the quality of its elevator pitch, and will ask entrepreneurs for the elevator pitch to quickly weed out bad ideas. It is said that many of the most important decisions made on the floor of the United States’s House or Senate are made "within the span of an elevator ride" as a staff aide whispers into a Congressman or Senator's ear while they head down to the floor to cast their vote. A variety of other people, including entrepreneurs, project managers, sales people, evangelists, job seekers, and speed daters commonly use elevator pitches to get their point across quickly.” (Wikipedia) Does imprisonment work for young people?

14 Summary: Top tips for better essays Elevator pitch Plan Critical thinking A more critical essay, expressed clearly, supported by evidence and within a tight structure.


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